The sports industry’s biggest online merchandise retailer continues to shatter its own records. They’re still squashing rumors of an IPO… for now.
Sportswear and merchandise giant Fanatics has enjoyed a massive year already. They’re capping off a meteoric seven-month burst with a $320 million fundraising haul — one that more than doubles its valuation.
Previously pegged at around $6.2 billion, they’re now estimated to be worth an incredible $12.8 billion.
This most recent round of funding featured big-name backers like Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton, Thrive Capital, and even Major League Baseball. Fanatics had initially said its previous Series E round of funding would be its last, but the aforementioned investors came to the company with strong interest — likely spurred by the booming market for trading cards and collectibles.
Fanatics’ growth has exploded since Michael Rubin, also co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, purchased the retailer in 2011 for $171 million, becoming a force in the sports merchandise industry. Sales for Fanatics’ global e-commerce operation have risen roughly 30% annually, with expectations of exceeding $3 billion this year.
The retailer has also invested heavily into expanding its memorabilia division, for which Rubin says the company has billion-dollar aspirations. Fanatics recently partnered with NFL legends Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Charles Woodson for exclusive memorabilia contracts, enhancing a portfolio that already boasted agreements with some of the biggest stars in sports, including Steph Curry, Tom Brady, Aaron Judge, and Zion Williamson.
As Fanatics looks to continue to expand, Rubin has not ruled out going public. “I think going public is an option for us that we talk about a lot, but it’s not something we’re focused on today,” he said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “But I think we’re well-financed and have a lot of growth capital to continue to grow.”
Between the last two funding rounds, Fanatics raised over $750 million while sales reached new heights. Whether Fanatics will opt for an IPO any time soon remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the biggest name in sports retail just keeps getting bigger.